The dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner (1954–89) is infamous for its longevity and brutality. Seeking to understand how Stroessner remained in power for such a long period of time, Kirk Tyvela's important new work puts into perspective how not only Stroessner consolidated his power locally by limiting dissent within his own political party (the Colorados) but also, more importantly for Tyvela, his regime was able to maintain stability and control by securing economic aid in the form of grants and loans from a compliant US government spanning seven presidential administrations with often-contrasting foreign policy approaches.

According to Tyvela, Stroessner announced to US officials that his government was staunchly anticommunist and steadfastly democratic. This pleased administrations from Dwight Eisenhower to Gerald Ford that were willing to turn a blind eye to human rights abuses and a lack of democratic norms in return for security...

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